My name is Alyssa Dean, and I am currently a senior at George County High School. I am the News Editor for my school’s newspaper, The Student Press. During my first year on staff, I was awarded “Rookie of the Year” and 1st place in Feature writing. My junior year I became the Features Editor. I was later promoted to News Editor and President of journalism at the beginning of my senior year.

Not only have I worked in print journalism, but I have also worked in broadcast journalism. During my elementary school years, I was an anchor for the morning announcements that broadcasted on TVs all over the school. This is where my passion for journalism first started. My broadcast team received a 3rd place Digi Award my 5th grade year. More recently, I was a sports anchor for my school’s broadcast, GC Live. I also had a segment called “Hit or Miss”.

My JCamp Experience

I was selected to attend AAJA’s JCamp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the summer of 2017. JCamp is an all-expenses-paid, multicultural journalism camp for high school students. They select 42 students from across the country each year. The camp was truly a life changing experience. We got to visit The Philadelphia Inquirer where we listened in on a morning news huddle. We also got to go to NBC10 where we went behind the scenes. Many professional journalists, such as Joie Chen and Quincy Harris, taught sessions for us.

One of the main focuses of the trip was to get a real journalist experience. We were challenged to come up with a story idea that we had to pitch during our big pitch meeting. After the stories ideas were heard, we had to come up with ways to gather the information needed for the story. Then we split up into groups with our assigned mentors to explore downtown Philadelphia and gather interviews, videos, and pictures for our stories. My mentor was Ben Bartenstein, a reporter for Bloomberg News. He helped me tremendously through the process of what it was like to be a real journalist. After we gathered our resources, we went back to the college where we finalized our stories. At the end of the trip our stories were published on AAJA’s website.

Overall, JCamp was an incredible experience that I will never forget. I made friendships that I will cherish forever. I also got some exciting experience as a real-life journalist.